Destination NL

Research and Education

The Netherlands is a popular study destination for students, especially in higher education. Dutch students are also increasingly doing work placements, internships, or degrees abroad. NUFFIC, which is a Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education encourages and facilitates this development along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands.

Internationalisation in education is important as global movement increases and it becomes advantageous for young people to gain experience in interacting with people from different backgrounds. Not only does that apply to the primary and secondary levels of education, but also to higher education. Uniquely, the Dutch higher education system consists of three different levels; technical vocational training, applied sciences degrees and academic degrees.

The Orange Knowledge Programme

Fairness and equal opportunities for all underpin the national education policies. The Dutch education system always looks beyond its own borders, and stimulates international student exchanges at all levels. However, Dutch organisations cannot do this alone, they have to work together with organisations globally.

The Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) is a good example of an education-based initiative, organised by NUFFIC and funded by the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs that facilitates knowledge exchange between organisations worldwide. The programme organises international projects, group training to support local organisations, as well as individual scholarships. With programmes like this NUFFIC aims to contribute to sustainable and inclusive development globally through strengthening the skills and knowledge of young people, especially women and girls.

In order to achieve this Dutch institutions are cooperating with local organisations across many countries. Currently, partners in 54 countries participate in OKP projects and because of digitalisation they have been able to continue solving educational challenges during these times. Together they work on the themes of Food Security, Water, Health, and Security and the Rule of Law.


International students during the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it apparent that it is vital for Dutch educational institutions to keep accelerating their digitalisation efforts and not only to be able to provide national and international students with worthy education, but also to adapt to the ever-digitalising world of studying and working. 

During this pandemic international students with plans to study in the Netherlands as well as Dutch students who wanted to study abroad were forced to postpone their relocation. Thankfully, because of the digitalisation of educational institutions in the Netherlands, these students were largely still able to hold on to those ambitions. Classes began through video conferencing and the show could go on, ensuring students continued to receive quality education.    

Dutch educational institutions are resilient in the face of a crisis and are using the latest innovations to provide flexible and inclusive education. Eventually “In the Netherlands, the current situation has resulted in an enormous rise in digitalisation and we have discovered that many different types of education can be successfully conducted online” as the chair of NUFFIC’s board of trustees, Bert van der Zwaan, said.


"Come join us in ensuring a future ready digital ecosystem for international education. Together we can innovate to solve global challenges together!"